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RANTOUL – World Free Fall Convention organizers are expecting 3,500 sky divers at the Rantoul airport beginning this Friday.
Village and convention officials are planning safety precautions in an effort to avoid a repeat of the deaths at last year's convention.
CHAMPAIGN – Students show up on time for these classes, no matter how early or late they convene, and they pay strict attention to the lessons because a lot is at stake.
Specifically, their driver's licenses.
URBANA – As the University of Illinois converted to a new payroll system, it needed to move the dates of the academic calendar forward and change the dates on which employees were paid, as well.
Employees with 12-month appointments received a smaller than usual paycheck in the month of September and a slightly shorter appointment for one academic year. The change was accomplished without any mention of controversy in the local press.
MAHOMET – Bert Gray has always loved the outdoors.
As a youth growing up near Oswego, he camped frequently and was a camp counselor. He earned a forestry badge as a Boy Scout by learning from foresters at the famous Morton Arboretum.
OAKWOOD ? Canoeists and fishermen along the Middlefork and Vermilion rivers will begin to see more warning signs along the banks of both rivers this summer as officials take steps to make the waterways safer.
The signs were prompted by a canoe accident three weeks ago in which a Champaign woman drowned.
URBANA – A financial investments class offered at the University of Illinois last spring gave freshmen the chance to get to know a professor in a small class setting, learn the basics of managing an investment portfolio and find out more about the field of finance.
The class, part of a UI program for freshmen, won't be offered next spring. The UI is canceling its Freshman Discovery courses for the spring because of budget cuts and a smaller-than-hoped-for tuition increase, according to the provost's office.
CHAMPAIGN – Two local command officers are among 14 semifinalists for the position of Champaign police chief.
Deputy Chief Troy Daniels and Acting Deputy Chief Holly Nearing are the only two names of semifinalists that have surfaced. Both declined any comment, on instructions from the city manager's office.
PARIS – Latino workers from Arcola could be sharing about $200,000 in coming months as a class-action lawsuit with the Northern Harvest furniture company nears settlement.
Furniture worker Hugo de la Rosa of Arcola complained to an Urbana Latino support organization, El Centro por los Trabajadores, about pay inequities in 2001. El Centro's executive director, Hugh Phillips, connected de la Rosa and his fellow workers with a Chicago law firm with experience in employment issues.
SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed a bill into law Thursday lifting the requirement that half of the tuition waivers state lawmakers can distribute each year be for the University of Illinois.
Currently, the other half of the eight one-year tuition waivers may be spread between any of the state's other public universities.
URBANA – Carolyn Wood was one of about a dozen veteran county employees who were moved to applause at Thursday night's meeting of the Champaign County Board.
Just moments earlier, the county board had voted to approve offering early retirement to about 60 eligible county employees in a tense 13-10 vote.